When it comes to reducing, reusing, and recycling, there’s one area that we need to take a closer look at: technology. Each year, we accumulate 50 million tons of e-waste worldwide, and it’s time to find a better way.
The problem is that when technology starts to malfunction or break down, most consumers don’t know what to do besides tossing it out and replacing it. That’s where tech experts can come in and save the day.
If you know a thing or two about computers, consider opening a computer part store. By offering computer parts and computer repair services, you can give the average consumer an alternative to creating more e-waste.
Not sure how to get started? Read on for five tips that will help you to open up your own computer part store.
1. Start With Market Research
Before you start hanging flyers about your services, you’re going to need to do some serious market research. First, find out if anyone else in your town is already offering similar services. To find success, you’re going to need to stand out and fill a void that exists in your region.
Next, create a target customer. Maybe you want to do business with students at the local university; after all, they’re all using computers and don’t want to spend more money than they have to. Maybe you want to do business with seniors who, in addition to computer parts and computer repairs, could use some help troubleshooting computer problems.
This is also the time to research the market size. Who is in your area that is most likely to need your services and how many people fit the bill? Let this process help shape your target customer and make adjustments as needed.
2. Find the Right Location
As you’re doing your market research, make sure that you’re thinking about location. While many entrepreneurs start a business online these days, a computer part store tends to require a physical location where customers can drop off and pick up their technology.
Once you understand your competition and your target customer, it’s time to find a spot that puts you in a position to succeed. Is there a location that is central to where your target customer lives or frequents? Is there an available location that is close to things like public transportation that will make your store more accessible?
Keep in mind that while a computer part store doesn’t need to be warehouse-size, you’ll need enough space to conduct customer service in the front and store computer parts and complete repairs in the back. Because you’re working with technology, something with good security and temperature control is a must.
3. Set Up Your Internal Systems
Even when your business model is fairly simple, a lot goes on behind the scenes to keep things up and running. For example, you’re probably going to want to hire a few employees, which means that you will need to check with local and state laws regarding things like benefits and worker’s compensation.
You will also want to get in touch with any third-party contractors you’re hoping to work with before you open up shop. This can include SEO writers, IT consulting, website builders, virtual assistants, customer service representatives, and even a business lawyer.
This sounds like a lot, and you may not be able to afford all of it off the bat. Prioritize your most pressing needs and keep in mind other future contractors you may want to hire as your profits grow and you start building annual budgets.
4. Put Together a Marketing Plan
As a small business owner, you can get a lot of new customers through word of mouth, but you shouldn’t rely on word of mouth, alone. You’re going to need to put a lot of effort into your marketing plan.
Using a low-cost multi-media approach is your best bet. That means starting a few social media pages (we recommend Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), starting a blog that boosts SEO, and running a few print campaigns. Print campaigns, in particular, are great for small businesses that are looking to establish a local reach, and can involve things like flyers, mailers, and banners.
Make sure that you have a good amount of marketing content, both digital and print, before you launch. That way, you can focus on all of your new customers from the jump and get out the message that you’ve already crafted.
5. Soft Launch Your Small Business
To avoid early overwhelm, it’s always good for a new business to do what’s called a soft launch. That means that you spread the word in a contained manner and offer a limited number of services or contracts on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Soft launches can last a few weeks to a few months. By limiting how much work you’re taking on, you can take notice of any potential issues or kinks before making too many commitments.
Plus, you can create long-lasting relationships with those early customers. By providing them with great deals and services, you can rest assured that word of mouth will travel alongside your marketing efforts.
Open a Computer Part Store to Cut Down on e-Waste
e-waste is a major concern these days and helping people to prolong the use of their technology is a great way to help the effort to reduce it. Open a computer part store using this simple guide and start giving back to your community and the planet while doing what you do best.
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